Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Warner Archive Instant Gems: RAFFERTY & THE GOLD DUST TWINS ""

Friday, May 10, 2013

Warner Archive Instant Gems: RAFFERTY & THE GOLD DUST TWINS

When Warner Archive announced the beta for their upcoming streaming service, I was ecstatic. I jumped in with both feet and watched 30 films during the trial period:
It was a hoot and I had a great time gobbling up as much as I could in a short period of time just to get a feel for what the service would be like. I was quite pleased with it. Now, they're many weeks into their official launch and I get more and more excited with service each week as they continue to add more interesting titles(many in HD). Just the other day they added a little movie called RAFFERTY AND THE GOLD DUST TWINS. I hadn't thought of this movie in 10 years at least, but was very jazzed to see it pop up. You see, when I moved to Los Angeles in 1999 with a few colelge buddies, we had a poster of this film up in our kitchen for quite a while. Thus, it as often made reference to in one way or another. The artwork was quite memorable and reminiscent of a time when studios put considerably more thought into poster artwork. I can't remember when we actually saw the movie or if we'd seen it before we put up the poster. I do remember that I ended up getting it on an old Warner Bros clamshell VHS.

Upon watching it, it was one of those unfortunate(not so rare) instances of a Panavision film being reduced to an awful looking Pan & Scan master for the VHS. We watched it nonetheless and enjoyed it at the time, but it was definitely a film not many people were talking about at any point. Any reference made to it outside of my friends and I was typically lost on whoever we were talking too and at some point it faded into obscurity even for us. So needless to say, it is a film that is certainly ripe for rediscovery at this point. And being that it's never been on DVD, it being on WAC Instant is a nice opportunity for some folks to finally get a look at it( and in it's native 2.35 to 1 Panavision!).
The story is a relatively simple one. Alan Arkin(in FREEBIE AND THE BEAN mode) plays a very down and out 20 year Army veteran turned DMV driving instructor who is living in a very crappy place in Hollywood. He's a rather listless, aimless sort who spends his lunch breaks drinking in the park. On one such day, he is happened upon by two girl drifters, 'Frisbee' and 'Mac'(played by Mackenzis Phillips & Sally Kellerman respectively). The two ladies quickly dupe Rafferty into a veritable kidnapping in order to get him to drive them to New Orleans. Rafferty, as the tagline says,"..wasn't going anywhere anyway" so he goes along with it. What follows is an affable(if not revelatory), winsome 70s road movie with some great walk-ons from the likes of Alex Rocco, Charles Martin Smith & Harry Dean Stanton.
The film's screenwriter, John Kaye, has a bit of cult cache in that he was the scribe behind both WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM and the (now pretty much lost) classic AMERICAN HOT WAX. This was his first produced script and it meanders a bit, but for me, it meanders in that appealing 70s way that is ultimately kinda charming. Like I said, not a mind blowing piece of cinema, but quite worthy of rediscovery(and would nice double with FREEBIE, which is also on WAC Instant).

RAFFERTY AND THE GOLD DUST TWINS can be found currently streaming via Warner Archive Instant here:

1 comment:


I have the movie tie-in paperback to this lost gem :)